Book Review | A big book full of small texts – Harry Salmenniemi’s thick new work enjoys uncomplicatedly as if by a cup of tea

The inventive short prose gets more attention, but it is a pleasure that Salmenniemi has not abandoned poetry.


Harry Salmenniemi: Fever. Siltala. 207 s.

For peopleinterested in my relationship with the world – are there other kinds of people? – is hardly a more recommended pastime than poetry. The subject is also Harry Salmenniemen at the heart of abundant poetry production.

Contemporary classic Texas, the scissors (2010) presented on the front pages of “this someone I” drowned in a tidal wave of phrases borrowed from depression literature, prescriptions, and online trolls, but as the production progressed, Salmenniemi’s approach has been reduced rather than settled on core issues.

The ultimate, disturbing unpredictability, the ability to pull the rug under the reader’s feet, is still there.

If a poet who has used a lot of loan material dares to say he has something like “his own voice,” then About fever it is found in its basic form, familiar but still so strange that poems often find themselves amazed: “I realize I am a vest in the fog. I have a stone floor that is late for the train. ”

By the logic of sleep, in Salmenniemi I rush to inhabit objects and surfaces, but people remain stranger to them.

Poetic self The fact that when the author enters the seventh collection of the author ‘s seventh collection – night, stone, water, fog, leaves, glass – there is still a waste of fresh verses.

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The merging of the self into its environment and the swaying at the mercy of natural phenomena is sometimes euphoric, but more often it evokes indefinite horror.

Fever would be more than two hundred pages in size, banging braces from anyone else, but with a much larger number of pages Night and glass (2018) after the novelty is enjoyed uncomplicatedly like a selection of steaks by the teacup.

New texts indeed, classical Japanese poetry is often often descriptive of external natural phenomena, and sometimes an effective proverb or way of life stands out. I suspect this will end up in several room tables:

“As a reminder / for difficult times. / Continue yourself for the same amount / day at a time. / Slowly / move from one screen to another. ”

Sometimes, again, a parable that quotes the language of communication or some jargon occurs in a surprising context:

“In the security industry, we have a habit of crucifying rescuers.”

The humor cultivated in Salmenniemi’s prose works is also realized Feverish as such punctual bumps, while the whole leaves a rather melancholy, stagnant impression.

Because the book is more a selection of individual poems than an effective methodological presentation, for example Rows of stones (2013), many of the texts also have weaker ones. The graphomanic “throw material on the wall and see what stays” approach is in itself gratifying, and I think other readers will find meaningful content for me in Mute Poems.

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There will be no poetry in recent times For a fever many points of reference in mind. Close in spirit is better known as prose Jyri Vartiainen a rarely named debut work Collected poems (ntamo, 2021), whose short texts are sorted as four separate collections into a grand selection. Likewise Fever is perhaps easiest to conceive of as five separate little poetry books with varying subjects, environments, and poetic forms.

Still, the work also forms a whole, a weave, or a fabric, as Salmenniemi might say.

References intersect not only internally within the work, but also in relation to Salmenniemi’s other production, always the first work Flow that (2008) as in the shortest poem in the work: “ttä, aata, nta”. The automatic tendency of the mind to add two letters to the first and third words can be disturbed, if only one is added.

Ambiguous in any case, the short poem seems to tell a lot about Salmenniemi ‘s practice, it just sums up some line that crosses the production, but it is remarkably difficult to express outright what it is. That’s why I guess poets write poems and we read them, that there is no other way to express these things.

About fever however, there is one section where Salmenniemi linguizes the visual art and the space around it, that is, engages in extras. Museumsection continues with little attention Absurdes Berliner Tagebuch (2019) booklet, but this time not just one installation is toured, but a museum space with its endless groups of schoolchildren, clearly filled with landmark works from different eras.

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Probably first described by the poet Tintoretton A man with a white beard -painting by which Thomas Bernhardin Old masters sitting from day to day, it’s fun to notice a clear Bernhard-style paste in a couple of pages: “What did I think? he asked, / I said, he thought. ”

Some kind of art is conveyed Stendahlin a syndrome, that is, an almost religious ecstasy at the edge of art, but at the same time there is something excessive and extremely difficult to endure in this ecstasy.

Before the previous one Salmenniemi, an exceptionally prolific writer, had published one collection of short stories. Now there have been four of them and it is rumored that more are coming.

Although the inventive short prose gets more attention and a more direct connection to the public debate, it is a pleasure that Salmenniemi has not abandoned poetry.

The description of the environment in these poems does not remain in the role of creating an atmosphere, but goes deeper into it. The fragile, open conception of reality behind the flexible form of short stories is condensed into poems at the core, so Fever is also warmly recommended to lovers of Salmenniemi prose.

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